Konyak Naga celebrate “Aoleang Monyu” as ‘Festival of Spring’. Konyak people observe Aoleang Monyu festival for 6 days from 1 to 6 April every year at Mon Distt. Nagaland. Konyak people celebrate Aoleang Monyu with lots of fun, gaiety, dance, song, food, playing sports and togetherness. It’s the main festival of Konyak Naga Tribe among all the festivals celebrated by them.
This Aoleang Monyu festival is also organized by the Tourism Department of Nagaland, Konyak Naga Union at Mon where tourists, visitors and people of other communities join them and celebrate with them.
Konyak Naga celebrates Aoleang Monyu as a harvesting festival to welcome the new season, invoke the blessings of God for bumper harvest and a prosperous year. This Aoleang Monyu festival is the beginning of the New Year (of new spring season) and the end of winter season (as old year) for Konyak Naga people.
This Aoleang Monyu Festival is celebrated by Konyak Naga Tribe for 6 days :
Day 1 : Moseng Nyih / Hoiyah Laiphen Nyih / Hoi lai Yahnyih
The preparation day – Konyak people collect firewood, bamboo vessels, green leaves and other necessary things to construct the dancing platform ‘Jankhao Wakam’ in front of Morung. The construction of platforms / venues and all decorations are done on the first day.
Day 2 : Motim Nyih / Bong pho Sijet Nyih / Yin Mok Phonyih
People tie their domestic animals Buffaloes, pigs to be killed / for sacrifice and keep them on an empty stomach called locally ‘Sijet’.
Then before evening to attract people’s attention to the fertility cult ‘laa longpa’ (religious system of agricultural societies). Konyak people stand straight up a decorated bamboo pole called locally ‘Zangwan Keihphong’ in front of the village Morung (where people learn social practices and beliefs of their community). To perform the ritual ceremony the priest of the village comes and all Konyak tribe members join. The priest sacrifices the chicken on the foot of a bamboo pole (Zangwan Keihphong) and takes out the intestine of the chicken to perform rites and read their age-old tribal sayings and villagers cultivate the crops on advice of the priest.
Then after, people celebrate with beating of log drums, gongs, blowing horns of mithuns and buffaloes, guns fire, firecrackers. Then later people have a super meal / feast with the community and family members called ‘Vamsong Phong’.
Day 3 : Monyu Nyih / Bonglang Nyih / Yin Mok Sheknyih
Konyak people gather in front of Morung near a constructed bamboo pole ‘Zangwan Keihphong’ to perform the ‘Fertility cult’ ritual. Then a priest comes to sacrifice the chicken and take out the intestine of it and perform rites, invoke prayers for the good crops as well as bless upon people. Then people beat the log drum in Morung, gongs. Also people mutter the spirit of Curse with bursting of crackers and guns fire to ward off the spirit of Curse.
And the domestic animals are slaughtered which are tied on the previous day. It’s the biggest feast day among of all the 6 days where all the tribe people of rich, poor come join and have
Day 4 : Molok Nyih / Lingnyu Nyih
On this day, Konyak Naga people deck up in their traditional ethnic dresses, display and enjoy. Male females peer their groups, join hands, sing, dance in their traditional forms. People have a feast with their friends, relatives and their loved ones, exchange gifts and enjoy time together.
Day 5 : Molai Nyih / Lingha Nyih
Konyak Naga People celebrate this day as ‘Dancing Day’, organize peer groups and dance, sing together. The day is also marked as ‘Remembering the Dead’ among Konyak people. People clean the graveyards of family members, their loved ones and share the part of the feast called ‘yim mo’ with them by putting on graves.
Day 6 : Moyan Nyih / Lingshan Nyih
It’s the concluding day for the Konyak people of Aoleang Monyu festival. After all the celebrations and rituals people clean Morung, houses and remove all establishments of festivity. And cook food at home and enjoy it with family members and take rest.
What is the meaning of Konyak ?
The Konyak word is derived from the word ‘Whao’ which means ‘Head’ and ‘Nyak’ means ‘black’ which depicts ‘men with black hair’. Konyak Nagas are divided into 2 groups : 1st is “Thendu” which means ‘Tattooed Face’ found in Mon district of Nagaland and 2nd is “Thentho” which means ‘White face’ near Wakching area.
The Angh (King) system is part of Konyak tradition. Anghs further are of 2 types : 1st is “Pongyin Angh / Anaghtak Anghyong ” – The Great King and 2nd is “Angha” – The small King. Mon district is divided into 7 “Chief Anghs” which are : Mon, Chui, Shengha Chingnyu, Longwa, Shangnyu, Jaboka, Tangnyu.
Major Attractions of Aoleang Monyu Festival 2023
- Cultural / Folk – Traditional Dance Performance & Competitions.
- Tattoos Ceremony – making on legs, chest, all over body.
- Ritual Ceremony of Fertility Cult and other.
- Indigenous Sports and Games.
- Exhibition of Art & Craft and Handlooms.
- Old and Ethnic, nature village walk, Traditional houses – Morung.
- Local Food, Drinks, Family – Community Feast.
- Display of Traditional Ethnic wear Attire / Dress.
- Trekking, Adventure camping.
History of Aoleang Monyu Festival
Earlier Konyak tribes celebrate Aoleang Monyu festival on Full moon day after March 25th. But people living in different regions celebrate on different days according to their predictions. This celebration starts at the end of March, then April and goes up to May month. Then in the early 50s Konyak Naga Union and many renowned people came together and decided to celebrate the Aoleang Monyu festival on the 1st week of April. The Government of Nagaland also recognized the first week of April as konyak’s Aoleang Monyu festival days. This Aoleang Monyu is an age-old festival of the Konyak Naga Tribe.
How to Reach There ?
Mon can be reached by many routes and it is well connected with roads.
By Air : The nearest Airport station is Jorhat Airport which is around 161 Km away and Dimapur Airport which is around 260 Km away.
By Train : The nearest Railway station is Simaluguri Junction, Assam which is around 78 Km away.
By Bus : You can reach Mon via 1.Sonari and Simulguri, Sibsagar Distt. Assam , 2.Dimapur and Kohima, Nagaland, are well connected by road.
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Where is the Aoleang Monyu Festival Celebrated ?
Konyak Naga Tribe celebrate the Aoleang Monyu Festival in the Mon district, Kisama of Nagaland, North East India.
Konyak Tribe belongs to which State ?
Konyak tribe belongs to Nagaland state of North East India. Konyak Naga inhabit the Mon district of Nagaland also called ‘The Land of Anghs’. Also Tirap, Longding, Changlang Districts of Arunachal Pradesh and Sibsagar district of Assam.
What is Morung in Nagaland ?
Morung is an institution of Nagas and other communities where they display their social practices and social beliefs. And the elders members of society teach the young boys about their culture and rituals.
What is the culture / tradition of the Konyak Tribe ?
Konyak Naga are one of the 16 Naga ethnic tribes known by the name of ‘Headhunters’. Konyak Nagas can be usually identified by their tattoos all over their body among other Naga Tribes, especially the facial tattoo which was gained by capturing an enemy’s head. Konyaks are animists, gun smithing, iron smelting, gunpowder making, handicrafts, brass work, bamboo work, are their unique traditional techniques.
Which is the largest traditional dance ?
Konyak Dance is the largest traditional dance in the world. The dance was performed on April 5, 2019 at Mon district Nagaland, North East India. The title was achieved by Konyak Naga Union with 4687 women participants from 115 villages in full traditional attire.